When you drink alcohol heavily for months, weeks, or years, you might start having physical or mental issues when you seriously cut back or stop drinking. This is known as alcohol withdrawal. The symptoms can be serious or mild. In case you just drink once in a while, you might have withdrawal symptoms after you stop. So, you will not need an alcohol withdrawal scale. However, if you have ever gone through withdrawal symptoms, you are likely to go through it again.
Alcohol Withdrawal and Alcohol Withdrawal Scale
Alcohol tends to have a depressive effect on the nervous system. Not only will slow down your brain function but it can alter the way the nervous system sends messages back and forth. With time, the central nervous system will adjust to having alcohol at all times. The body will work hard to keep the brain in an awake state. As soon as the alcohol level drops, the brain stays in this awakened state. This is known as alcohol withdrawal. The symptoms for this can be serious to mild. What is yours will depend on how long you have drunk. Read more
Mild symptoms tend to show up as early as 6 hours after putting down the glass. This includes the following
- Shaky hands
More serious issues range from hallucinations for 12-24 hours after the last drink to seizures just within the first 2 days after quitting. You might feel, see, or hear things that aren’t actually there.
It is not easy to assess the withdrawal symptom’s seriousness. However, the alcohol withdrawal scale guide can help you with it.
When to Use an Alcohol Withdrawal Scale
Anyone who feels alcohol withdrawal is a concern for them can use the scale. This includes patients in various settings like a psychiatric, emergency, outpatients, etc.
The Clinical Institute Assessment for Alcohol scale has 10 items. Each scale contains 10 items. All of them have been evaluated individually and then aggregated to get a score that correlates to the severity of alcohol withdrawal.
But before you use the alcohol withdrawal scale, you need to know what causes alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Excessive drinking can irritate and excite the nervous system. When you drink daily, the body might become dependent on alcohol. If this happens, the central nervous system will not be able to adapt to an alcohol shortage. So, when you stop drinking or reduce significantly, it leads to alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
AWS tends to be more common for adults. However, teenagers and children drinking excessively will also experience the symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heaving drinking is when you drink more than 15 drinks a week for men 8 drinks every week for women.
Binge drinking is a common type of drinking. Your doctor will check your medical history and ask about the symptoms to diagnose alcohol withdrawal syndrome. If required, they might also ask for a toxicology screen. This test shows the amount of alcohol in the body.
The AWS treatments depend on the symptom severity.